HRT: Not “One Size Fits All”
One of my patients has recently written this about her experience and I thought it might be useful to share with you. Many women I see have tried one type of HRT which has not suited them so they are understandably not keen to try an alternative type.
Before taking HRT, I had a number of symptoms which, together with my age, led me to believe I was going through the menopause: night sweats, changing body shape, poor mood, and erratic periods. I saw my GP who took blood samples to check my hormone levels, which confirmed my suspicions, and from there we discussed the options.
Having read up on HRT, I was certain this was the best option for me. I tried a number of different HRT tablets over a two year period: Elleste Duet, Elleste Duet Conti, Femoston 2/10 and FemSeven Sequi Patches. With the tablets there was a definite improvement in my sleep and I did feel better than before taking HRT, but I also had a number of side effects: stomach bloating, weight gain, very tender breasts, bleeding and – worst of all – extreme irritability/feeling continually wound up. The patches didn’t always stick securely to my skin, so weren’t a good option either.
I was at the point of thinking these side effects were something I just had to accept as part of taking HRT, when I read an article in a local magazine by a doctor specialising in the Menopause, Louise Newson, discussing alternative HRT options.
Having seen Doctor Newson, I now take oestrogen as a gel applied to my skin daily and progesterone as a separate tablet. My testosterone level was also low and I will soon be taking that, also as a gel applied directly to my skin. I no longer feel bloated, I don’t have tender breasts or bleeding and my mood is so much better. I feel much calmer and happier.
I wish I’d known earlier that there was a way to go through the menopause and still feel well. I also wish there had been more information generally available about the variety of HRT options.
Last updated: February 2018